October 23, 2020
Home of the Falcons!
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Falcon Focus
A Message from the Superintendent

Happy Friday everyone! The first week of in-person learning is under our belt. YAY!!! We are so excited to have our students back on the campuses learning and socializing. I visited all the schools on Monday and made it almost every classroom (except at the middle school – it was lunch time). I really appreciate everyone’s attention to the health of the students, the students and staff wearing their face coverings and making sure we followed the protocols this week. We all did a fabulous job! Thank you to everyone.

This month is National School Principal month. I would be remiss to not mention the work of the three principal’s we are blessed to have in our schools. I appreciate their continual sense of humor, communication, the long work hours with a continued smile. I appreciate them more than you could know and I cannot ask for a better team to work with through all the COVID related issues for our district. They provide a fresh perspective and an intense focus on making the best of every situation for children. Thank you Mrs. Dehombreux, Mr. Markle, and Mr. Alexander. You three are the best!!!

Have a wonderful weekend –
Kelly Glass
McDowell Mountain Elementary School

Dear MMES Falcon Families: 

Welcome back from fall break! It’s been a great first week of full in-person instruction! Students are doing a wonderful job following all of our safety procedures and working hard on their learning. Here are some special things happening at MMES:

“I am a Falcon” Project
We have started teaching students what it means to be a Falcon and using the motto, “I am a Falcon!” and the student expectations of Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe, and Be Kind. Our first “I am a Falcon” activity took place the week before fall break with each MMES student creating their own "I Am a Falcon" collage with the help of the special area teachers. Students made their art by first dividing and coloring the background, next cutting and gluing their photo, and finally cutting and gluing the statements of being a Falcon: I am Respectful; I am Responsible; I am Safe; and I am Kind. 

All of the "I Am a Falcon" artworks are on display in the MMES multipurpose room showing how MMES is a Falcon Family. Be on the look-out for a Facebook post coming soon that shares photos of some of our students’ “I am a Falcon” projects.

Kiwanis Terrific Kids Awards
We have awarded three more sets of Kiwanis Terrific Kids awards since we last reported them in September. Terrific Kids is a weekly award with one student from each grade K-3 earning a certificate and prizes sponsored by the Fountain Hills Noon Kiwanis Club. TERRIFIC stands for Thoughtful, Enthusiastic, Respectful, Responsible, Inclusive, Friendly, Inquisitive, and Capable. Congratulations to the following Terrific Kids:
  • Week of September 21-25: Roman Vonderheide, Kindergarten; Dylan Jochum, 1st Grade; Oliva Henslin, 2nd Grade; and Melanie Itskovich, 3rd Grade
  • Week of September 28-October 2: Gavin Keating, Kindergarten; Liliana DeRosa, 1st Grade; Annabelle Kirkeide, 2nd Grade; and Dmitri Hunter, 3rd Grade
  • Week of October 5-9: Alison Rudolph, Kindergarten; Riah Lining, 1st Grade; Jacob Langner, 2nd Grade; and Sara Forsdal, 3rd Grade

Student Council Elections
MMES 2nd/3rd grade Student Council elections are underway! Second and third grade classes are voting for their class representatives by Monday, October 26. Then representatives have the choice to run for the election of 3rd Grade President and 2nd Grade Vice-President. They will post campaign posters on the school walls next week and record their speeches on October 28. Second and third grade classes will watch the speeches on the morning of October 29 and vote afterward. By the end of the day on October 29, we will tally the votes and announce the winners, taking photos of the entire Student Council in red, white, and blue!

MMES will be celebrating Halloween on Friday, October 30 with students able to wear their costumes to school. Please make sure that their costumes, any makeup, or any headgear/hairstyles do not interfere with wearing their usual masks. Students must wear the same type of masks that they’ve been wearing to school each day. Acceptable face coverings include cloth masks, paper masks, or gaiters. On Halloween, your kids will get to show that famous characters and superheroes also stay safe and help others stay safe!

Picture Day
Picture Day will be Friday, November 6. You will receive Lifetouch flyers this week. Please know that the safety-trained Lifetouch photography team will be following new safety protocols including new posing and social distancing requirements; electronic check-ins for students (no name cards); enhanced cleaning; and photographers wearing face masks during the entire photography session. Staff and students will wear face coverings until they are being photographed for their individual sessions when they will be advised to remove their face covering to capture their image. We will not be taking group photos at this time. We hope to be able to do so in the spring.

Thanks you for all that you’ve been doing to ensure a positive learning experience for your children. We love our MMES A+ Falcon Family!

Valerie Dehombreux
McDowell Mountain Elementary School

Fountain Hills Middle School

Hello FHMS Families,

Welcome to Second Quarter. We are off and running with our return to full in-person learning and have had a very successful first week. Our classes have many great things going on in them and I love to walk the halls and see students and teachers engaging in face to face learning. Please find a few observations and reminders below to help us have a fantastic Quarter 2.

Student Drop Off: Thank you to all the families who have done a great job with this. Please remember to pull forward to the cone zone. Your student can get out of their car and head up to one of the adults scanning temperatures. Please watch for students and cars in or near the drop off loop and keep up the great work. 

Student Planners: Talking with staff and students, I feel that it would be great if all of our students could carry a planner with them. This is where they can write down assignments and keep track of what they have going on during the week. If your student does not have a planner I would strongly recommend them starting Quarter 2 with a planner. Any tool we can give our students to help them stay organized and on track would be great as we come back to full in-person learning. 

Time Management: Without deadlines, nothing would ever get done. I know I have heard that before and know it is how the world tends to operate. This does not mean we should not be learning every day to use our time wisely. Kids need schedules both in the building and outside of the school day. Please work with your student on setting up a schedule to learn time management. We all have a million things going on, but a schedule for school, homework, activities etc.., will help us to begin to build strong habits of scholar.

PBIS: Responsibility, coming to school prepared to learn each day with all of our materials will put us in a position to succeed. Making sure everything is packed up and ready to go the night before will help to limit the stress of getting out the door. I know there will be days where we need a little help and maybe forget something and that is part of the learning experience as well, but coming prepared ready to learn each day is half the battle.

Communication: The best line of communication about classes is between the student/parent/teacher. Please reach out to your student’s teacher to seek clarification on class matters first. This will get you in touch with the person directly associated with your student and hopefully get you the answers to your questions.

Fountain Hills Middle School Spirit Week: October 26 – October 30
  • Monday Grade Color Day:
  • 8th: Blue
  • 7th: Green
  • 6th: Red
  • 5th: Purple
  • 4th: Yellow
  • Tuesday: Twin Day, find a friend and twin it up
  • Wednesday: College Day or Favorite Team Jersey Day
  • Thursday: Hat Day or Crazy Sock Day
  • Friday: Falcon Spirit Day
Some Grade levels might get communication from their teachers about Halloween Activities and you can follow those for Friday.

Just a reminder, Quarter 2 is a new beginning to continue to grow as a learner and sturdy human being. Stay on top of your work and assignments and continue to put forth your best effort.

In Partnership,

Jeff Markle
Fountain Hills Middle School

Fountain Hills High School
Hello Falcon Families,
Well, we’re back! This week we welcomed all students back to campus for in-person instruction, 5 days a week. It’s been great seeing classrooms full of students again. We have certainly had to make some adjustments as we’ve doubled the amount of people on campus this week but all in all, it’s been a very smooth transition. Students have been great following the policies and procedures set to ensure their safety and anyone else who comes onto campus.

Academic Focus
The following letter was sent out to parents of FHHS on October 9th outlining our plan to address students who may have been in danger of failing the 1st quarter of the school year. Please be sure to review the letter in order to be aware of how we will help these students get back on track over the next few weeks.

Homecoming Next Week!!
Next week will mark the beginning of Homecoming week. Our terrific STUGO students have planned and organized some great activities and theme days for all to enjoy. They have also planned a pep assembly for students and staff to participate in on Thursday afternoon. The week will be capped off on Friday night when our Falcon Football team takes on Show Low. Please be sure to review the Fan Attendance Guidelines if you’re planning on attending the game next Friday. Additionally, if you’d like to participate in our spirit days from home, here is a list of what the theme will be each day next week:
❖       Monday: Pajama Day
❖       Tuesday: Twin Day (dress like a friend or teacher)
❖       Wednesday: Meme Day
❖       Thursday: Class Color Day
  • Freshmen - Green
  • Sophomores - Orange
  •  Juniors - Yellow
  • Seniors - Red
❖       Friday: Falcon Blue Day

➔       On Thursday, October 29th, we will be conducting various tests at the high school for all grade levels. This will be a non-instructional day for students, however, what they will be engaged in is highly academic. Below is an outline of what we have planned for the day.
  • Freshmen will be participating in various sessions during periods 1-4 that we are calling High School 101. Our freshmen students will be taught tips and best practices to ensure they are successful academically throughout their high school years and beyond.
  • Sophomore students will be taking the PSAT. This test is free for all sophomore students.
  • All Juniors will be taking the PSAT or PACT in preparation for those same exams in the spring.
  • Our Senior students will be taking the ASVAB exam. ASVAB is the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery exam. It measures a student’s aptitude in four critical areas -- Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension and Mathematics Knowledge.
  • At the conclusion of our testing period in the morning and after lunch, all students will be taken to the football field area for an afternoon filled with Falcon spirit. One area that has not been easy to foster during the pandemic is school wide engagement and spirit. Given that students will be working hard during the morning hours on testing, we wanted to make the afternoon something more celebratory. Our STUGO students are organizing some fun activities for staff and students to engage in to celebrate our Falcon spirit! We’re also planning on having a special A+ celebration component to that afternoon as well. More details on this event will be shared as it approaches.

➔       Parents, as a reminder, please be sure that you are dropping off and picking up your child at the Golden Eagle gate entrance located on the west side of campus each day. Student drop off and pick up is not permitted anywhere else for safety reasons. 

Kris Alexander
Fountain Hills High School

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